Lava Orcs of the Southern Continent
The Lava Orcs of the Southern Continent are found almost entirely in or around the areas of the Twin Flames, a pair of volcanoes that tower above the Northern Savannah. Fierce and independent, their tribes survived the Magister War and Lost Era, and after much conflict and struggle, have established a new nation in the Northern Savannah. On the Southern Continent, Lava Orcs are organized into a dozen tribes, each tribe consisting of several extended families. Each tribe has a pie slice of land that starts at the apex of their volcano and travels down it onto the obsidian and lava rock strewn plains that surround them. This organizational format means each tribe has a roughly equal land, a source of water, and access to the resources they need to live. This reform was introduced with the foundation of the Volcano Kingdom, and has been instrumental in ending the tribal conflicts that had plagued the Lava Orcs for generations. Lava Orcs have three names, presented in Tribe/Family/Given format. Lava Orcs make use of personal names in their day to day, and make great use of descriptive nicknames (like "Stoneteeth", "Pumicefoot", "Soothair" etrc...). This practice often puts them at odds with the Iburi humans, who prefer to use personal names only with people they have personal relations to. If a Lava Orc marries or is accepted into another tribe, their name is amended with a suffix to reflect their new tribe and original roots. Most describe the Lava Orcs as outgoing, aggressive, and pensive in their own way. Life on the obsidian plains of the Northern Savannah has inured them to tragedy, but has not made them any less adventurous or wary. They encapsulate the many aspects of the fire and earth amalgam that they were created from in the distant past, some burning out rapidly reaching great heights, and others slowly building up before exploding forward. Their new nation, the Volcano Kingdom, reflects this in many ways. Lava Orc philosophy has gained popularity in the Iumbu Empire of late, as it encapsulates their stoic and explosive natures, a duality that the Iburi find fascinating. Lava Orc arms and armour are arguably the best in the Northern Savannah, if not the whole of the Southern Continent. The reason for that is adamant. The Twin Flames volcanoes and lands around them are riddled with the mineral, and provide natural furnaces capable of processing the near mythic metal. Adamant laced alloys of bronze and steel are the pride of the Lava Orc smiths, and allow them to field well armed and armoured forces. Lave Orcs prefer spears, composite bows, and the fearsome falcata sword that they adopted from the Pakatos humans of the Republic of Tasmrao. Their armour is well made, using types of treated and reinforced hide to make simple armours, with metal leaf armour and lamellar armours for elites and well off adventurers. Largely immune to regular heat, the armour of Lava Orcs is often unsuited for use by humans or others under the hot Northern Savannah sun. Magic is traditionally a weak point of the Lava Orcs, as arcane magic users tend to be exceedingly rare among their people. Magic is treated as a rare and precious gift among them, and those with the talent to use it are encouraged to develop that talent to its extent. Oddly, Lava Orcs see arcane magic as a women's skill, and divine magic as a male skill; but do not discourage the opposite sexes from pursuing these abilities. They do, however, encourage them to take on the gendered norms associated with these magical skills. This carries no stigma in Lava Orc culture. Lava Orc religion is dominated by the Followers of the Elemental Court, and their temple complex to Fire, Earth, Lava, Smoke, and Air is renowned across the continent. Lava Orcs worship all aspects of the Fire and Lava Elemental Lords, and the neutral and beneficial aspects of Elemental Lords of Earth, Air, and Smoke. Their lies are deeply intertwined with these elemental forces, and they are a generally pious people.
Vara, Kava, Lata, Lota, Tala, Rataka
Takoro, Ratoko, Lalako, Varo, Kavo
Dakal, Lako, Vata, Ratola
Tribal Names: There are twelve tribes of Lava Orcs; Zato, Valnak, Doraka, Takarat, Sakat, Wakara, Ratak, Tolaka, Lataka, Vatak, Dakala, and Kalata. Lava Orcs who change tribes add the new tribe's first three letters as a suffix to their original tribe name, e.g.: Zato-Val, Sakat-Dor, or Lataka-Rat. Family Names: Kotaka, Latar, Karata, Lotako
Major language groups and dialects
High Peak and Temple Peak are the main dialects, but the differences are such that non-native speakers are unlikely to notice them.
Culture and cultural heritage
Lava Orc cooking is meat heavy, vegetable lite, and heavy on grilling and baking. They prize robust, powerful flavours, and have a distinct preference for heat from peppers. Travellers in their lands are well warned to be wary of their food, especially if they are unaccustomed to heat. The dangerous Obsidian Hell Pepper only grows on the Twin Flames, and acquiring this pepper is a challenge young Lava Orcs take every year for the two weeks its ready to be picked. Tribes that succeed in getting one are considered to be blessed for the next year, and the peppers are then sent to the Flame Temple to be processed (a five year effort that results in a delicacy level food).
Common Dress code
Lava Orc men prefer to wear short, baggy trousers and a wide, decorated hide belt, leaving their upper bodies exposed to show off their scarification patterns. They wear heavy sandals on their feet, and seldom wear anything on their heads. The women of the Lava Orc people wear full length baggy trousers, held up by an intricately woven rope tied in a knot that signifies their position, and a sleeveless top with triangular cuts for the neck and arm holes. They wear heavy sandals as well, and often a bandanna or headscarf to keep their hair in place.
Art & Architecture
The architecture of the Lava Orc tribes uses carved slabs of volcanic stone the fit and interlock together to form buildings. They also create dwellings by carving into the lava stone and the volcanoes themselves. This mix of building styles can also be used as a rough aging gauge for a settlement. Older ones tend to be carved in, while newer ones are built. Naturally, for the settlements on the plains around the volcanoes, this is nto true, as all of those need to be built.
Coming of Age Rites
At the ages of ~6, ~12, and ~16, Lava Orcs of the Southern Continent got through a series of rituals to mark their progress to adulthood, each of which involves ritual scarification. These are simple designs, which the Orc may expand on if they desire it as they grow older.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Lava Orcs cremate their dead in a celebration of dangerous proportions. Heroes and important orcs are dropped, ceremoniously, into open vents over lava flows. Their practices have an unintended side effect, that being the incredible rarity of corporeal undead in their lands.
Lava Orcs have a strong taboo against consanguineous relationships within two steps (cousins and second cousins), seeing the couple as unlucky and their children as dark omens over the tribe.
Both men and women among the Lava Orcs of the Southern Continent engage in ritual scarification, with the men having it done on their lower legs, torsos, and shoulders, and women on their arms, shoulders, necks, and faces. Showing off your scars and designs is considered both a sign of confidence and attractiveness. Men: The men of the Lava Orc tribes wear their hair close cropped or in heavy dreadlocks made with volcanic mud, and are clean shaven. Women: Lava Orc women style their hair in intricate braids, and stain their teeth a shiny black to resemble obsidian.
Lava Orcs seen the world as having two genders masculine and feminine, and see that each gender has its own roles to play in creating a stable society. If a person of the opposite sex adopts roles associated with the other's gender, they are considered to be that gender. This is often confusing to outsiders because the Lava Orcs do not see this as a permanent thing, and may switch if they take on different roles.
Once it's determined that there's no risk of breaking the consanguineous taboo, the Lava Orcs of the Southern Continent have a long, structured, and chaperoned courtship to ensure their families can get along together as well. Meanwhile, it's a accepted practice that lovers will sneak off as much as possible to be together. In the cases of hetero relationships, it is not unusual for marriage ceremonies to occur with the bride well into pregnancy.
Relationships are seen as serious, family affecting things, so Lava Orcs take them seriously and slowly. "A slow, strong burn is the best relationship."